Play Therapy Activity Miniature World Work

play therapy activity

Miniature Work in Play Therapy:

Play Therapy Miniature Definitions:

1. Metaphors: Usually a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a similarity or a resemblance to something.

2. Possibly something used to represent something else such as a feeling or thought such as a symbol.

The language of miniatures and metaphors is one of the most difficult concepts to teach to graduate students in a play therapy class.

Even experienced play therapist often have a difficult time grasping this unique perspective. I have had many therapist write in to me that they need more information and training about miniatures and metaphors.

After working for several years with miniatures and metaphors I tried to find the most simplistic way to teach my students this language.

In my play therapy class with graduate students I usually get blank stares or crazy looks when I start to talk about the language of miniatures.

I open up with my little red devil plastic miniature. I buy several of these at the play therapy conferences each year. I put some in my miniature collection, one in my purse, and one in my house. This little devil represents my “shadow” or “dark side”.

Play therapy students usually can grasp this part of Carl Jung’s Archetypes.

I tell my students that I once denied my dark side and ignored him. He came out a lot because he felt denied and ignored.

I find that after I have done something from my dark side these little red devil miniatures start to show up. They show up in my purse, stick to my clothes, etc. I allow them to just “be” and bring them out. Sometimes they sit on my desk or ride on my mirror in the car.

Yes, my play therapy students think I am actually crazy when I first tell this story.

I also explain that once I got in touch with my dark side I was able to make peace with it and I actually have more control over it.

I am also more congruent with my personality parts because I have learned to accept the negative parts as well as the positive parts.

I have miniatures for many of my “moods” and “feelings”. They are positive, neutral, and negative in nature. Many are on different levels.

For example, my anger can be a baby bear or a big bear miniature. If I am incredibly angry it can be a tiger or a T-Rex miniature.

When we offer this language of miniatures and metaphors to our clients they are able to access the deepest parts of their brain memory banks.

Lowenfeld called this “pre-verbal thinking.” With pre-verbal thinking we go back to our infant self. This is the self that had pictures to identify with feelings and emotions long before we had our verbal language to express ourselves.

If you have worked as a sand tray therapist for any length of time you will automatically understand miniatures and metaphors. However, if you have not been trained as a sand tray therapist it can be a difficult concept to grasp.

Carl Jung’s Archetypes are also excellent training for the use of miniatures and metaphors. However, when you are trying to help a client understand the language of miniatures / metaphors I would not recommend using Archetypes.

This theory can be extremely complex and complicated to clients, especially children. It is helpful to understand Jung’s Archetypes as a therapist. However, I advise that you steer clear of this with your clients unless you are a fully trained Jungian Therapist.

Children will often understand the play therapy language of miniatures and metaphors better than adults. This is due to the age of being closer to the pre-verbal thinking stage of infancy. It is natural for children to use miniatures and metaphors in their play.

Below are some of the play therapy exercises I require my graduate students to use to get them in touch with their pre-verbal thinking. These exercises have been used over the years to translate the language of miniatures and metaphors to students.

If you use these play therapy exercises on yourself you will begin to understand the power of the miniature / metaphor language. I encourage my students to take the miniatures out of the sand tray and create different worlds (different ways of being) with the miniatures.

The play therapy miniature worlds can also be used in the sand tray. However, I find I often go into deeper therapy with a client if we create a world from scratch based on a theme. The client can take the world home and keep it for further self-assessment.

Yes, this is very directive, but can offer a completely new perspective on the inner world of the client. One never gets stuck as a therapist when they offer clients the chance to create different worlds.

I still have my first world that I created with Eliana Gil. I encourage you to keep your worlds and display them in your office.

This can offer several advantages. First, you have a reminder of the world you created and can remember to offer it to clients. Second, clients usually ask what things are.

When you are open to showing your clients you have done the work you ask them to do, clients see you in a more positive light.



My wish is that you will find the benefits of play therapy either as a trained professional play therapist, or play therapy client!

I truly hope that Creative Counseling 101 can open the creative doors for your practice with clients!


Learn the History of Play Therapy

What is Play Therapy?

What Makes a Good Play Therapist?

How to set up a Play Therapy Room

How to actually do Play Therapy

Advertise Your Play Therapy Practice for Free, Post Your Writings, Share Ideas Here:

See All Examples of Professional Play Therapists Writings and Posts & Play Therapy Graduate Student's Work Here

See More Creative Counseling Ideas Here

More of Understanding Play Therapy Miniatures

Learn More Creative Counseling Ideas Here

Creative Counseling eBooks for Sale:

Creative Counseling 101 eBook: Our Best Seller!

Creative Counseling ebook

Learn how to be a more Creative Counselor / Therapist with the book that started it all!

Learn step by step therapy with over fifty-five creative counseling and therapy techniques and activities. Includes full color reproducible worksheets with most activities.

Winner of the Counselor Writer of the Year Award, 2011, Georgia Regional Award, 2012

Download Your Copy Today Only $39.95
The Creative Counseling 101
eBook


Get ALL FOUR Creative Counseling eBooks for Only $98.95

creativecounselingebooks

Get your complete set of the Creative Counseling 101.com eBooks by Dr. Michelle Stangline for only $98.95, that's only $25.00 per eBook (Regular Price is $39.95).

Your complete set includes: Creative Counseling 101 Creative Group Counseling 101 Creative Play Therapy 101 Creative Sand Tray Therapy 101

Order Your Complete eBook Set Today by Clicking The Link Below:

Only $98.95 for all four eBooks

See Complete Set of ALL eBooks For Sale

BRAND NEW: Warm and Fuzzy School Counselor Classroom Guidance Lessons eBook

Get a year's worth of school counselor's guidance lessons, character education words, and social stories! Complete with lesson plans and behavior incentives.

school counselor guidance lessons eBook

Warm & Fuzzy School Counselor Guidance Lessons eBook

The Creative Small Group Counseling 101 eBook

This ebook includes 252 pages of step by step group therapy ideas for school counselors and professional therapists.

Group topics include grief, anger management, friendship, self-esteem, positive behavior, and stress management with colorful, reproducible worksheets.

Download Your Copy Today (See Below Link):

Only $39.95
Creative Small Group Counseling 101 eBook

The Creative Sand Tray Therapy 101 eBook

sand tray information book

Learn about the creative sand tray therapy process. This is an exact replica of the graduate sand tray therapy class I teach at a major university in Atlanta. You get 147 pages of creative ways to do sand tray therapy. Also included are colorful, reproducible worksheets for your clients to use and take home.

Buy it today for only $39.95

Sand Tray Therapy eBook Information and Order Form

Creative Play Therapy 101 eBook

play therapy e book and play therapy class

You can now learn everything I teach to graduate counseling students with this Creative Play Therapy eBook. The eBook has 25 sessions (181 pages) with step by step colored lesson plans and reproducible worksheets. Learn how to use the play therapy doll house, puppets, miniatures, miniature worlds, the sand tray, and more! If you work with children or teens then this book is a must have item for your practice.


Download your Play Therapy 101 eBook today!
eBook Play Therapy Book only $39.99


More Information for the Play Therapy eBook & Order Form

Bullying Prevention Coping Skill Card Set

Learn how to deal with bullies and mean teasers the emotionally intelligent way! Click the link below for more information:

bully prevention coping skill card set

Bully Prevention Coping Skills Card Set